Daily Southtown Education Stars

A month ago we learned the nominees for the Lisagor awards for journalistic excellence in Chicago.  This weekend we get the news:  Congrats to Linda Lutton and Kati Phillips for winning the Headline Club's New Watchdog Award.  I'm proud to say I know them both, albeit not very well.  Read the rest of the release below or check out all the winners here.  I didn't see any other education-related winners. 

From the press release:

"Reporters Linda Lutton and Kati Phillips of the Daily Southtown received
the honor for their "Reverse Robin Hood" investigation into Sauk Village
schools superintendent Tom Ryan. The pair detailed Ryan's illegal use of
school district funds to pay for his daughters' college education and gifts
for family and friends. Ryan later pleaded guilty to theft charges and is
serving an eight year prison sentence."

"A remarkable investigative series," one judge commented. "It picks the
right subject, not too big and not too small, and looks at it from every
possible angle... This took a lot of guts, determination and knowledge... I
applaud the writers, the editor and the paper that presented it in perfect

Lutton and Phillips received a $3,500 cash prize and awards fashioned out
of crystal at the Headline Club's 29th annual Peter Lisagor awards banquet,
held tonight at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza.

More than 50 print and broadcast news reports were nominated for the
Watchdog Award, which is explicitly designed to encourage stories that stick
up for the common person. It honors Chicago area news reporting that calls
attention to situations in which the public is being harmed or poorly served.

The Watchdog Award is funded by a generous donation and multi-year pledge
from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and is administered by the Chicago
Headline Club Foundation.

"I'm pleased that the Chicago Headline Club Foundation, with the support
of the Driehaus Foundation, will be able to reward the kind of great
investigative reporting Chicago journalists are known for," says Ilyce Glink,
president of the CHC Foundation.

Established in 1921, the Chicago Headline Club is the largest chapter of
the Society of Professional Journalists. Its members work to promote ethical
conduct, raise the bar for reporting standards, recognize excellence,
encourage young journalists, advance the cause of freedom of information and
enhance the prestige of the profession.

The Club's charitable activities are supported by the Chicago Headline
Club Foundation, a sister organization which raises money for scholarships and
professional development activities.

Most familiar for its philanthropic support of the arts, architectural and
urban environment initiatives, the Driehaus Foundation has recently taken a
keen interest in supporting documentary film and radio reporting and
investigative reporting projects.

Filed under: Media Watch


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  • The education reporting award also went to the Southtown's Lutton/Phillips duo, for "The Iron Fist of Education."

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